Catholic bishops drop welcome to gays

Mon. October 20, 2014 8:40 AM by Carlos Santoscoy

An assembly of bishops at the Vatican have scrapped language welcoming gays to the Roman Catholic faith in a report on the family.

After meeting for two weeks at the direction of Pope Francis, the bishops produced a report that failed to include even a watered-down section on reaching out to gays.

The original draft suggested the church should be more accepting of gay people.

"Homosexuals have gifts and qualities to offer to the Christian community," the draft report stated."Are we capable of welcoming these people, guaranteeing to them a fraternal space in our communities? Often they wish to encounter a church that offers them a welcoming home. Are our communities capable of providing that, accepting and valuing their sexual orientation, without compromising Catholic doctrine on the family and matrimony?"

The new version replaced the title "Welcoming homosexuals" with "Providing for homosexual persons" and altered a reference to gay unions as constituting "precious support in the life of the partners" to constituting "valuable support in the life of these persons."

According to the AP, the revised language did not receive the two-thirds majority needed to pass.

HRC, the nation's largest LGBT rights advocate, criticized the move.

"Once more members of the hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church have erred on the side of hypocrisy and fear," Lisbeth MelÉndez Rivera, HRC Foundation's Director of Latino/a and Catholic Initiatives, said in a statement. "The deeply entrenched anti-LGBT forces within the Church prevailed, ignoring Pope Francis' message of inclusion and respect, and fundamentally rejecting the voices and lives of LGBT Catholics."

Citing the need for transparency, Pope Francis insisted that the paragraphs that failed to pass be included in the full document along with the voting tally. Bishops will meet again next year to produce a final report.

Article provided in partnership with On Top Magazine